The Cubs Get Hosmer’d in Surprise – Cubs 4 Royals 5

Spring Training Game Six – Cubs 4 Royals 5
WP – Blaine Hardy (1-0) LP – Sean Marshall (0-1) Save – Steven Shell (1)

Q’s crew lost for the fifth time in six games Friday afternoon. The Cubs took a 4-0 lead into the sixth thanks to a huge day by Tyler Colvin and a run scoring triple by Starlin Castro. Colvin made his professional debut at first base and responded with a 3-for-3 afternoon that include a RBI double and a home run. Colvin drove in three of the Cubs four runs, all with two-strike hits.

Starlin Castro plated the Cubs third run with a triple in the fifth and scored the fourth and final run on Colvin’s double.

Matt Garza made the start, his first of the spring, and put together a good outing before leaving the game an inning early. Jeff Francoeur hit a smash back up the middle in the second that hit Garza in the ribs. Garza completed the inning before being lifted for a pinch hitter. Garza showed a lot of improvement from his first outing and allowed only one hit in two innings of work.

After Garza left the game, he finished getting his work in down in the pen. Garza spoke with the media during the game and downplayed the incident.

Garza said he was fine and the tattoos he has on his ribs will camouflage the bruise he will likely have Saturday. Garza said nothing was broken and he was able to throw the remaining number of pitches he needed to keep him on track for the season.

Garza did not throw any breaking balls again … just fastballs and changeups. Garza indicated that he is working on locating his fastball and that his breaking pitches work off his fastball location. Garza said he would not throw any breaking stuff until his fourth or fifth spring start.

The only negative for Garza on Friday afternoon … someone forgot his jersey and he had to wear no. 94.

The Cubs bullpen put together a solid afternoon, with one exception.

John Gaub could not find the strike zone. At one point Gaub threw nine straight balls and walked the bases loaded. One of the top prospects in the game made Gaub pay for his wildness.

Eric Hosmer tied the game with a grand slam off Gaub in the sixth before Sean Marshall gave up a run in the seventh to take the loss.

Kerry Wood and Alberto Cabrera threw smoke Friday afternoon. Both relievers hit the upper 90s with their fastball. Cabrera tossed two innings of shutout ball, while Wood retired all three batters he faced.

Jeff Samardzija had one of his best outings in a long time. Samardzija retired all four batters he faced.

For the first time this spring the Cubs defense did not commit an error … and Tyler Colvin made all of the plays he needed to at first base.

The Cubs lost another meaningless game but at least they took steps as a team in the right direction …

The Cubs jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the opening inning thanks to Tyler Colvin’s first dinger of the spring. With two outs and on a 0-2 pitch from lefty Bruce Chen, Colvin launched a hanging breaking ball over the wall in right.

Matt Garza retired the Royals in order in the first on 10 pitches, nine for strikes. Garza gave up a single to Billy Butler in the second before getting hit in the ribs by Jeff Francoeur. Starlin Castro barehanded the ball that hit off Garza and threw out Francoeur at first.

Garza retired Alex Gordon on a groundout to short and Brayan Pena flied out to left center to end the inning.

The Cubs added to their lead in the third.

Max Ramirez hit for Garza and walked to start the inning. Kosuke Fukudome grounded out to first. Butler stepped on the bag and threw to second but Ramirez sled in safe ahead of the tag. Butler then robbed Castro of an extra base hit down the right field line with a diving catch.

With two outs and a 0-2 count, Colvin delivered a single to center that plated Ramirez from second. The Cubs took a 2-0 lead with Colvin’s second RBI of the game.

While Matt Garza finished his day in the bullpen, Alberto Cabrera made his spring debut.

Cabrera retired the Royals in order in the third on 14 pitches, nine for strikes. Cabrera’s fastball hit 96 MPH on the gun in the third.

Billy Butler recorded the only hit off Cabrera … a two-out single in the fourth. Cabrera threw nine pitches in the fourth, five for strikes.

Matt Camp hit for Cabrera and led off the fifth with a single to left. After Kosuke Fukudome flied out to left, Starlin Castro ripped a 2-1 pitch into center. Camp scored on Castro’s triple.

Ned Yost pulled his infield in and Colvin took advantage. Colvin ripped an 0-2 pitch down the right field line to plate Castro with the Cubs’ fourth and final run.

Mike Quade made wholesale changes in the bottom of the sixth. John Gaub took the hill and could not throw strikes.

Gaub issued a leadoff walk to Alcides Escobar before striking out Lorenzo Cain on a 3-2 pitch. Gaub then issued back-to-back walks to Mitch Maier and Mike Moustakas on eight pitches. With the bases loaded and one out, Eric Hosmer worked the count to 3-2 before launching a homer over the right field wall. Hosmer’s slam tied the game at four and ended Gaub’s afternoon.

Gaub threw 29 pitches, 11 for strikes.

Sean Marshall came in and got out of the inning. Marshall hit Alex Gordon but did not allow a run … until the seventh.

Joaquin Arias led off the seventh with a single to center. Cody Clark sacrificed him to second. Lorenzo Cain grounded out to Josh Vitters at third but Mitch Maier blooped a single into center that gave the Royals a 5-4 lead.

Box Score from

The Cubs host the Padres Saturday afternoon. Andrew Cashner is slated to make his first start of the spring.

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax
  • studio179

    Not that it matters, but I had no idea Bruce Chen was still in MLB.

    • GaryLeeT

      I am pretty sure he’s the Royals’ ace.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Bruce Chen was 12-7 in 2010.

      You didn’t know about it because KC is such a hole, you probably never stoop that low to look in. But at one point last year, for about three weeks, KC had a better record than the Lou Pinella Cubs–and then Quade took over and righted the ship.

      Chen would have been our best starter in 2011.

      • studio179

        Actually, I did watch a couple KC ballgames. I try to catch other games if time allows and the the Cubs are not playing. Rare a player goes slips through on me like that. The last I heard, Chen went to the Rangers a couple years back and lost track of him. Oh well.

        I agree. Any starter with 12 wins on this team would look good.

  • John G

    Last year it was John Grabow. Now it’s John Gaub. I tell ya, anyone named John G is worthless.

    Hey! Wait!!!

  • paulcatanese

    Thats funny,I seem to remember last summer there was a chance to see what Colvin looked like at first base. But then that would have meant not playing a vet over there to make a good impression for someone looking for a managers job. Oh well,just throw ten million around and probably end up with Colvin over at first anyway. On the other hand Colvin wouldn’t be able to call team meetings,he’s not a vet.

    • Tony

      Intersting, Colvin can play 1B, and not look like a fool (I know it is only 1 game, it’s too bad we couldn’t have given him an extended look before now).

      • paulcatanese

        Thanks Tony, well three for three and made all the plays. colvin kind of makes the decision making of the front office and Quade look a little silly right now. I wonder if Colvin keeps it going will he get more time over there at first. If he continues on this path Pena should be on the bench and available for pinch hitting. Not so far off if one considers the amount they paid for his 196 average. I think the key here is if the outfield produces that could be a strong possibility. I of course hope they all do well but will watch that slowly. I wonder also if Brett Jackson will get more time.

  • Bothevolfan

    Has anyone said why Mcnutt has not pitched yet?

    • gary3411

      A guy in talkin baseball said there has been no explanation and McNutt himself is unsure why.

    • Neil

      Bo, Grant posted an update on McNutt during Talkin’ this afternoon. Grant has ties with several of the minor league players and made contact with a person close to McNutt that would know. Grant said McNutt is fine, he’s just been pushed back.

      I saw him in the pen Tuesday in Scottsdale and he was on the list to pitch Thursday at HoHoKam. From all indications he’s healthy.

  • Kingdomusa

    Why Trey McNutt hasn’t pitched yet……he is not a vet. Has anyone noticed the stats on Chris archer yet. No surprise. Biggest mistake made last year was not looking at Colvin at 1b, not playing the backup young carchers, not looking at archer as a call up. Youth will never be served under this regime.
    Remember it was vets vs Rookies that produced the 24-13 record while looking at the team youth was thrown out. We will pay for this down the road.

    • Ripsnorter1

      You are so correct. Koyie Hill plays, and Castillo sits.

      BTW the Astros are suddenly in need of a starting catcher. Could Jim Clueless work any kind of deal at all for Koyie Hill? Even a waiver deal would be great!

      • Richard Hood

        I would not want Trader Jim to be looking to move a catcher because we could be without Soto. I think if Hendry got a chance he would trade him in a heartbeat.

        • Tony

          Hill can go! He is so replaceable by our own system, or catchers that will be available at the end of March.

          • Richard Hood

            I totally agree I just think that JH would look for the big trade and move Soto. He seems to have no confidence in him at all.

      • studio179

        I noticed the Astros situation. I instantly thought of Hill. It took all of 2 seconds before reality kicked in. Hendry is not going to part with Hill.

  • Tony

    No errors!!! That is a victory!